Some angry caterers of the Ghana School Feeding Programme are threatening to lay down their tools if the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection fails to pay monies owed them for rendering service.
Two of the caterers who were on the ‘Fabewoso’ segment of Adom FM’s Morning Show, ‘Dwaso Nsem’ said they feel let down by the Ministry headed by Gender Minister, Nana Oye Lithur.
“We won’t cook for the children again but we are warning them not to ever make up their mind to go and look for new caterers because they are owing us…,” they said.
According to them, government decided to transfer the school feeding programme from the Local Government Ministry to the Gender Ministry to facilitate the payment of the caterers.
“When we learnt they have decided to transfer the school feeding to the Gender Ministry, we celebrated because we thought at least because a woman like us is going to handle it, it was going to be better…,” they said.
Indeed, things changed at the Gender Ministry as they opted to pay the caterers through mobile money rather than cheques.
The government also increased the amount paid to the caterers from 40 pesewas per child to 80 pesewas per child.
“The increment notwithstanding, we were made to pre-finance it before we would later be paid but we still are not getting paid even after that…,” the caterers said.
The unhappy caterers further revealed that after the increment, the Ministry and Government communicators told head teachers of schools in which they cook that the monies have been increased.
“They convinced the headmasters about this so the teachers never appreciate any food you present to the children; meanwhile we are not being paid after the increment….”
The absence of funds, the caterers said further, has led to a mountain of debts which they owe their suppliers.
“Even when we are paid after a long while, we are given just peanuts. You receive mobile money notifications and you go to see that you have been given GH¢400 out of thousands owed you…,” they said.
As a result, some of their suppliers, they said, have taken them to court to demand their monies from them.
Their plight was confirmed by numerous caterers of the SFP who called into the show.